It’s fall fair time in our part of Ontario and Upper Canada Village is now exception. Reid and I headed there on September 16th, after a leisurely breakfast at home and a snuggle with Daddy (her, not me, more’s the pity). After we resolved the small keys in car issue, we joined the rather large queue at admissions and went in.
The village had more people in attendance than I remember from others visits. I wonder if it’s that the fall fair is so much more interesting or that there are fewer diversions mid-September than when we visited earlier in the summer. There wasn’t a bottleneck anywhere to interfere with our visit, though. I’m glad when museums get lots of visitors since it would seem they’d be harder to close.
We went first to the fair grounds and started with some apple cider, bread and cheese. Oh, and I bought us some fudge but Reid got distracted by the animals and I ate her piece. All of the refreshment were 25 cents a serving. There were extra horses, sheep and ducks on site for the fair or at least there were animals we’d never seen before. There was also a pair of geese in a crate. A woman was telling her child about the “ducks” and I had to check the label to be sure that they were actually geese. As Reid peered into the crate, she asked if they were ducks. I was so hoping that the other mother wouldn’t be listening as I corrected Reid. She was, of course, and so I explained that I had had to read the card to be certain.
We had our lunch at Willard’s Hotel – a huge! sausage (according to Reid) and fried potatoes – and while there I discovered that my season pass not only gets me in for free – after the 2 visit equivalent cost of the membership – and offers a 30% discount on other admissions I purchase but also a 10% discount at Willard’s Hotel. Yes, the place we’ve eaten at on each of our 6 visits would have given me a discount if only I’d shown my card. The fellow who was explaining this to other diners also mentioned a discount at Fort Henry in Kingston. I must read the card to see what else I’ve been missing.
After lunch, I tried without success to convince Reid to have a nap. She top half was willing to assume a napping position but her legs and voice were too busy to be still. After 15 minutes without seeing a slow blink, let alone closed eyes, I gave up and we went back to that swing we discovered on our last visit. After a bit, we returned to the fair grounds to see a bit of the horse competition and then we went to join in the children’s games and races. Reid leant her strong muscles to one of the tug-of-war teams but it was a lost cause. At first, she seemed a bit perplexed by the whole thing since I hadn’t had time to explain what would be happening.
Next, Reid took part in the sack race. The bag came to her underarms but she wasn’t worried by that. Her eyes sparkled from the moment she was handed the flour sack until she jumped across the finish line. Reid and another little girl were soon left behind as the big kids hopped away. Each little girl fell at least twice but the costumed interpreters stood them back up and the girls hopped on. It was a long course for such short legs but Reid finished to great cheers. It’s too bad that the other mama “rescued” her daughter. Reid was proud of herself for finishing – as well she should have been. Both activities netted Reid a candy stick and so she was particularly happy and I had to be equally vigilant to keep her from opening and eating all of them.
Reid wasn’t willing to pair with a stranger for the 3-legged race but we did watch. The fastest pair was maybe 3 or 4 years old. They’d been giving a slight headstart but I’m not sure they needed it. I wonder if the shortness of their legs was the advantage or that they’re used to being dragged around by their parents. We also watched the wheel barrow races. Reid wasn’t interested in participating and since this seemed the activity most likely to cause an injury, I didn’t press the issue. She has asked us to walk her like a wheel barrow since then. Maybe she’ll want to be in the race next year. I told Melissa that if she can’t go next year that I may borrow one of her kids for the day. The final activity for the children was a ring toss. The post that the kids were aiming for was taller than Reid. She still managed to hit the post with a couple of her rings and that was worth a smile.
After watching a bit more of the medicine salesman/magician’s show, we went looking for the sheep. They’d moved from next to the Tinsmith’s shop – a place that doesn’t interest Reid in the least – to the hill next to the woollen mill. A few of the sheep came up to the fence and we spent quite a while feeding them some of the grass and weeds from our side of the fence. I’m not sure that the grass was greener where we were but the sheep seemed to enjoy being hand fed.
With my keys in hand where they belonged, we went to the parking lot before they locked the gate, not wanting a repeat of our last visit to the village when we were had the near miss. Reid ate most of her hamburger before falling asleep. I’d hope that she would stay that way but no such luck…
If ever you’re planning a trip to Ottawa, consider whether the Upper Canada Fall Fair will be happening round about then. It really is worth the consideration.